Expert Advice

I listened this morning to the news on my way out to work. It was only a couple of minutes but I heard the presenter introduce Bobby Flay as the expert that would help people how to do better when proposing marriage. A study, said the presenter lady, suggest that most woman are disappointed by the way their husband proposed to them.

I would be more interested to see the study that links that to divorce, but I digress. Who cares about how a guy proposes besides maybe the bride? I now see that step in a relationship more logically and think it should be a decision made by both and not a surprise… I remember somewhat being pressured to propose on my first marriage, and we all now know it did not work out. That was not the part that really bothered me about the report.

I have come to realize little by little that the news is starting to annoy me. The angles they do on their stories are always so far off from what really interest me its pathetic. Maybe it is because I read blogs for a lot of my news and information now and the commentary and angles are more interesting than what CBS, NBC or FOX think that the American public want to hear. This brings us back to the issue, how is Bobby Flay an expert on how to propose to your future wife?

I know who he is, I have watched him in the food network mostly in the Iron Chef. He has always stroke me as a little too cocky and a know it all. That could just be his TV persona, or maybe it is just the whole Chefs seem to be egotistical bastages because of how they act on TV. Then I thought maybe he has seen many people propose in his restaurant, but then it still does not make him an expert.

I think what made it even worse was the idiotic nature of his first statement that suggested most people want to be told “yes.” Or maybe it was the expert statement that covered the whole world population, some people go all out and some don’t… I stopped listening there because I knew the “you want to be right in between” statement was coming.

What makes him a expert on the subject of proposing? that is the question that still lingers in my head. I could see a jeweler maybe knowing more than him, because he is actually the person that gets to hear the stories of proposal before they happen. I could see maybe someone that did something really outrageous and was turned down… but a cook?

Just being famous does not make you an expert in my eyes, but more and more people with fame get to have a voice. I think that is the real danger of the celebrity culture, that maybe we are getting information from sources that are not very reliable. Be careful of where you get your expert advice, and next time you see one on TV, ask yourself if the person talking should really be considered an expert on the subject.

Religion and Sex

Politics and religion are taboo subjects for a lot of people, but thankfully the blogsphere is changing that. I seriously did not think that so many people would read and react (even though not directly on the comment box) to my Bad Sex post. I actually have about five different topics to be developed just from that post alone. That made me really start thinking about writing more on the subject. I am not a sex expert, but I have had sex. I have had bad sexual experiences as well as good ones. I have had problems in a relationship due to sex and also enjoy a happy sex life now. I also feel no shame when I talk about sex, but that does not mean that I am not familiar with what that feeling can do to sex.

One of my biggest problems with religion is that it separates a lot more than it unifies. First we have the people that believe in something bigger than just them and those that don’t. Then in the group of people that believe, we have more division and a lot more incentives to stay that way. Sex plays a big role on religion even if some people like to simplify it with the for procreation only banter. Sex made to be a dirty act negates our needs as humans.

Like the need to eat to survive, sex is something that is wired into our instincts. People that do not acknowledge that are as blind as those that think that living in a compound and giving up your 14 year old to a 40 year old to marry is all good because a leader said so. Sex is something that takes a lot of effort to suppress, but like an anorexic will tell you, it is suppressible none the less. So why does religion want to put a chastity belt on something that feels so good?

I believe it has something to do with the line that religion draws in the sand and likes to call perversion. While sex between two consenting adults should not be a matter of public scrutiny, religion likes to make it their business to tell them how they should have it. Some people might think it is crazy to let religion tell them what to eat, but they forget that some people do not drink caffeine, pork or beef because their religion tells them to.

I do not need religion to tell me the different between right and wrong because my own morals tell me that. I also do not need to them to tell me what music I should listen to and what food I should eat. I do not want them in my bedroom at all… however they have been there several times until I decided to drive them out.

There are many ramifications to this subject, but for today I would like to point out a common one. Sex before marriage.

While I respect people that stay pure until marriage I think it is a big mistake. It is a huge mistake when only one has experience and a bigger one if both are inexperienced. If you come from a very conservative household it is very likely that you have never discussed sex with anyone. If you are also surrounded by people that are also very conservative your sources for information become very limited and sometimes not the best.

Pornography for example is one of the worse places to look for sexual direction. It is not only unrealistic but also geared towards very specific audiences. If someone has never had sex before and they see a run of the mill porn movie they are going to buy immediately into the sex is dirty and anything but missionary position is a sin. It is like giving a ten course meal to someone that is starving, it will overwhelm them.

If you have never had sex with the lights on while trying different positions and speed you are missing out. It is like always having French Fries while they are cold, without salt and saggy. While you might not like spicy curly fries after you try them, you might love them hot and dipped in ketchup or maybe even mayo. The key is to give it a try.

So if you have never given yourself the chance and you are too ashamed to even admit it or scared to look in the net. There is this book called the Kamasutra which I believe is a good place to start. Pick up a copy of one that is not necessarily pornographic from your local book store and share it together. If you end up getting your partner to at least try one of the positions there you are taking what I think is a step in the right direction.

What to give?

For the last couple of days I have been thinking about what to give in this holiday season. People need hope, perspective, love and understanding but most are going to get the latest gadget or toy.

I love to give advice to others, but it is hard at times to stick to my own advice. I do try to take my own advice and lately I have been trying hard to not take things personally. I have actually more and more finding that having faith helps with keeping me calm, and staying calm helps me have perspective in my life.

Watching the movie Love Actually yesterday for the first time also gave me some perspective. Love is something that is ever so present but at times we either take it for granted or don’t nourish it. We need to tell those around us that we love them, that they matter and most of all that without them our life would not be as happy.

Do not fight with anyone during this season, the stress level is way up and old issues are not going to be resolved in one night. Try to maybe have dialogue with that person before you have to see them in a group dynamic. Don’t drink or eat too much, you will regret it.

You also have to love yourself, it is important to feed your own ego and not depend on others to do so. Counting your blessings can always help on this. This is the time of year where most start to make plans for the following year, why not instead look at what you accomplished on the year that just passed.

Admit your mistakes and correct what did not work. If one of your behaviours keeps on hurting you, or those around you start working towards eliminating it from your life. Why make the same mistake simply because it is a learned behaviour that you seem to have always done. You have the capability for change, exercise it.

Most of all, believe in something bigger than yourself. Family, friends, or even God. I know not everyone is spiritual, but if you think you know everything or control everything you are a fool. You are also carrying a load that you do not need to. Apply the saying that you have heard and make sense… and simply change those things you can, and accepts those you cannot.

This little post is my gift to you in this season… to those like me, Merry Christmas… to the rest, Happy Holidays and to all best wishes.